What a great convenience to have an interview over the phone instead of having to travel to an office and meet face to face. Many companies and recruiters are doing phone interviews – often as an initial step – to narrow down the top candidates before scheduling an in-person interview. There are some very important things to think about during a phone interview that otherwise are taken for granted.

Ask yourself  “Would I do this if I were having this interview in person?” Use that as your initial guide to help you ace the phone interview and get you to the next step.

Get Dressed. This may sound obvious, but again, would you have an in-person interview in your pajamas or sweats? The way you dress really does affect how you come across over the phone. Feel good, feel professional, wear something nice.

Choose a Good Environment.  You’ll want the interviewer to hear you clearly without distractions. There’s nothing more irritating than speaking with someone while competing with background noises such as a dog barking, a parrot screaming, kids running around, or other devices beeping and ringing (or all of these at once!) Find a place to sit where you’ll have peace and you can be focused.

Know When to Speak. The person interviewing you will lead the discussion and set the tone. Take notes so you can bring things up once they’re finished speaking. You’re not able to give and take visual clues in this kind of situation so pay careful attention to breaks in the conversation and appropriate times to respond.

Don’t Eat. Again, you wouldn’t eat or chew gum if you were having an interview while sitting in front of someone. Even if you like to snack or chew gum to calm your nerves, doing it while on a phone interview is a big no-no. So just don’t do it. Try to have some water beforehand and you can keep some water near you in case you’re nervous and get parched.

Use Your Voice. This might seem obvious, but since they can’t see your face and body language, your enthusiasm, confidence, curiosity, and sincerity all have to come across in your voice. You might want to practice smiling while speaking. It can help you come across with more energetic and upbeat.

End on a Good Note. There’s nothing wrong in letting the interviewer know that you’re very interested in the position. As the phone call winds down, show your appreciation for their time, and ask about next steps. Remember to send a brief thank you note the next day.

We know that phone interviews can be uncomfortable, but the more you do, the easier they will get. Remember, a few minutes of preparation could result in years of success at a job you love.

Need support for a phone interview? We’re here to help. Contact Us. MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center (508) 771-JOBS (5627)